Kim Mobey (born 1980) is a South African artist. She is entirely self-taught and sold her first sculpture through the Adler Gallery at the age of 15. Since the late nineties she has been working as an artist, having regularly exhibited her work from 2010 through galleries in Knysna, Hermanus, Johannesburg and Cape Town. In 2017, when she was selected as a finalist for the PPC Imaginarium awards with "In This Skin", her sculptural work gained wider recognition, being shown at the Turbine Art Fair and the Investec Cape Town Art Fair. In 2019 one of Mobey’s portraits "Nora in Winter" made the Top 40 shortlist for the Sanlam Portrait Award.
Her primary mode is portraiture, which she prefers to render in traditional mediums - oils and acrylics. Her portraits are faithful to reality, while communicating the unspoken connection between Mobey and her subjects – most often people she knows or has met. She seeks out an immersive and empathetic link to them, which she feels is necessary to evolving an authentic practice.
Though Mobey's work is rooted in reality and historical fact, she makes generous use of artistic license, fulfilling her compulsion to upturn stereotypical notions regarding aesthetics, gender, race, age or class - and reflecting her desire to challenge fixed identities and how these bear out in society.
"I make art about humanity and the similarities between "us" and "other". I choose subjects and stories that are unlikely to match with expectations or demographics. I choose them because it's when we strip away expectations that we find real connection and meaning.
“When I paint a portrait I come close to knowing how gravity feels in someone else’s skin. And I can look at myself for a moment through their eyes,” she says.
Beyond her humanist approach, she is deeply affected by mythology and science. A driven autodidact and educator, she actively studies and teaches new and traditional technical skills, sculpture, installation, performance, painting and printmaking. Her keen interest in humanity extends to ongoing charitable work.
2011 – Knysna Gallery, Knysna “In This Skin” (Solo)
2012 – Western Cape Premier, Official Residence Cape Town “See the Point, Darling”
2013 – Knysna Fine Art Gallery , Knysna “Pink Loerie Group Show”
2015 – MOMO Gallery Johannesburg “Les is More”
2017 – The V&A Watershed, Cape Town Inaugural “Art Africa Fair”
2017 – The Cape Gallery, Cape Town “Dream Now, Dream Not”
2017 – UJ Gallery, Johannesburg, “PPC Imaginarium Finalist Show”
2017 – Turbine Hall, Johannesburg “Turbine Hall Art Fair”
2017 September – Art @ The Clocktower, Cape Town. “Not all Black and White”
2017 November – Art @ The Clocktower, Cape Town. ”Tides of Talent”
2018 February – Investec Cape Town Art Fair “Art at Africa”, Cape Town
2018 March – The Cape Gallery, Cape Town “Illusive Reality”
2018 September – Art Africa, V&A Waterfront “Heritage Day Exhibition”
2018 December – The World Yacht, News24 Nasdak “Afro-chic”
2019 June – The Cape Gallery, Cape Town "Returning the Gaze"
2019 August – Rust en Vrede Gallery “Sanlam Portrait Award top 40 finalist exhibition”
A big part of connection is doing work that matters for people who care. I support these causes with donations of artwork for auction, public speaking, teaching and participation in group projects.
2019 – Iris House Children's Hospice
In aid of providing free care for terminally ill and life-limited children.
Sue Van Der Linde
2018 – SOS Save Our Schools & Water 4 Cape Town
In aid of practical, ongoing water collection and delivery to vulnerable communities during the Western Cape Drought.
Paulette van Heerden:
2017 (Ongoing) – Catwalk to Freedom
In aid of education and sanctuary for child brides in Sudan, Uganda and Kenya
2016 – The AfrAsia Bank Cape Wine Auction, Cape Town, Groot Constantia Wine Farm
In aid of education for farm workers in the South African Winelands
2014 (Ongoing) – Call to Care “Paint and Sip”
Teaching, consulting, events and creative projects raising funds for sustainable food gardening workshops in impoverished areas
2014 (Ongoing) – Paint it Forward
A collective of volunteers and artists painting uplifting murals in the children’s wards of public hospitals
2014 – City of Cape Town, World Design Center “WDC/MURP Co-design workshop”
Facilitating community involvement in urban upliftment in impoverished areas
2014 – City of Cape Town, World Design Center “Hands of Honour”
Part of the “Man on the Side of the Road” employment initiative